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Office of Women's Health

Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP)

What is the Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP)?

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) receives funds through the Office of Violence Against Women to primarily provide counseling and court accompaniment services in rural counties. The target population includes adult, youth, and child victims of sexual assault, family and household members of such victims, and those collaterally affected by the victimization, except for the perpetrator. Collaterally affected (secondary victims) are children, siblings, spouses or intimate partners, grandparents, other affected relatives, friends and neighbors. Secondary victims do not need to be connected with a primary victim who is receiving services. The goals of these efforts are: 1) to increase direct sexual assault services to underserved individuals, 2) to assist with the maintenance and expansion of rape crisis centers and other relevant programs dedicated to assisting those victimized by sexual assault, and 3) to build enhance capacity to effectively address direct sexual violence services in communities.

Why is this program needed?

Rape/sexual violence is one of life's most devastating traumas and is likely to lead to chronic illness. Victims/survivors of sexual violence often manifest long-term symptoms of chronic headaches, fatigue, sleep disturbance, recurrent nausea, decreased appetite, eating disorders, menstrual pain, sexual dysfunction, and suicide attempts.

  • Nearly 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives, including completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration, or alcohol/drug facilitated completed penetration.
  • More than half (51.1%) of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner and 40.8% by an acquaintance.
  • An estimated 13% of women and 6% of men have experienced sexual coercion in their lifetime (i.e., unwanted sexual penetration after being pressured in a nonphysical way), and 27.2% of women and 11.7% of men have experienced unwanted sexual contact.
  • Most female victims of completed rape (79.6%) experienced their first rape before the age of 25, 42.2% experienced their first completed rape before the age of 18 years.
  • More than one-quarter of male victims of completed rape (27.8%) experienced their first rape when they were 10 years of age or younger.

Citation: The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report is a publication of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2011, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) maintained three contracts to offer services in rural communities of Maricopa, Yavapai, Pima and Santa Cruz counties. These contracts have funded outreach, hotlines, and counseling services. The underserved populations served by the contractors include monolingual Spanish speaking individuals. In addition, in rural Pima County the contractor has been able to outreach and provide services to disabled individuals, offer bilingual hotline services, expand their capacity to serve more clients and conduct a weekly non-therapeutic drop-in support group, the Cafecito. This weekly group is held for the purpose of helping victims/survivors break their isolation and learn about self-esteem and coping skills. In rural areas of Pima, Yavapai and Santa Cruz counties, Arizona has been able to maintain accessible and effective crisis intervention, court accompaniment and advocacy to primary and secondary victims of sexual assault. In 2011, a total of 315 victims/survivors and 36 collaterally affected received services.